Topic: help in UserInterface

topics > computer science > Group: user interface

graphical user interface

computer as an intelligent agent
disorientation in a user interface
ease of learning
ease of use
error messages
examples of hypertext systems
monitored variable
novice users and the UserInterface
semistructured messages for automated processing
software documentation

Subtopic: what is help up

Quote: little agreement on how a system should provide help; lengthy documentation, interactive tutorials, special-purpose programs [»rellN3_1981]
Quote: though help systems targeted for naive users, should be targeted for all users, both experts, programmers, and novices [»rellN3_1981]
Quote: site, mode, and trail--Where am I?, What can I do?, How did I get here and where can I go? [»bereG9_1982]

Subtopic: help as detailed information up

Quote: a help system should always be able to provide more detailed information for any message [»rellN3_1981]
Quote: help can be further explanation of system prompt, previous error message, or examples of correct response [»rellN3_1981]
Quote: a program should include explicit diagnostics and extensive online help [»wassAI_1973]
Quote: every definition in Common Lisp includes on-line documentation strings; allows user to query a symbol without searching text [»tichWF11_1987]

Subtopic: help as properties of objects up

Quote: should be able to find out where a display object came from, what user instructions caused this effect [»drapSW_1986]
Quote: in Magpie, whenever an item is selected, descriptive information is displayed in an adjoining pane [»deliNM5_1984]
Quote: use mouse to display the default value and likely alternatives for a field [»maloTW4_1987]
Quote: with Smalltalk can always inspect an object; displays a two pane window showing its variables and its value [»teslL8_1981]
Quote: drag a SUIT property to the INFO icon for its data type and textual description [»pausR10_1992]

Subtopic: human-sorted help up

Quote: Andrew's Advisor system now sorts incoming mail by day; students process one day's messages and cross-post those they miss [»boreNS9_1988]
Quote: with human message sorting, Advisor can use fine-grained helpboxes that contain real requests; high-content and worth reading [»boreNS9_1988]
Quote: Answer Garden uses a branching network of diagnostic questions written by experts; the leaves are questions that people have asked [»ackeMS_1990]
Quote: if users don't find a question in Answer Garden; they enter a new question that will be answered by an expert via automatic notification [»ackeMS_1990]
Quote: SmartHelp simulated intelligent help with a person, but none of the participants voiced suspicions [»carrJM9_1988]
Quote: simulated SmartHelp messages had to be generated on the fly since users were too creative and quick in generating errors and misconceptions [»carrJM9_1988]

Subtopic: on-line help up

Quote: online help systems do not represent the user nor tune an answer to the question [»markW_1982]
Quote: COUSIN interacts with users to correct errors in a command; it automatically corrects some errors and fills in defaults
Quote: COUSIN constructs a help frame that gives the current state, history, possible actions, and related frames [»hayePJ_1982, OK]
Quote: Consul builds a model of the user and the application; it pursues a dialogue if the model is incomplete for a question [»markW_1982]

Subtopic: automatic assistance up

Quote: should the user or the system decide when assistance is required? [»rellN3_1981]
Quote: Did You Know--a system should provide potentially useful information even though it has not been requested; may be recognized when needed [»owenD_1986, OK]
Quote: if a second exit is added to a loop, Programmers_Assistant embeds the loop in a conditional and notifies the programmer of the additional level [»wateRC1_1982]

Subtopic: multi-level help up

Quote: a help message includes multi-levels in a script; stored as a file

Subtopic: help requires detailed rules up

Quote: Smalltalk has only a few, very general rules for constructing objects; can not infer sufficient information to help the user [»nielJ5_1989]

Subtopic: help vs. UI up

Quote: user interfaces were largely irrelevant to help system effectiveness; most important was the quality of help texts [»boreNS_1991]
Quote: a cluttered, cryptic, alphabetic, help-less interface works well if the designers understand the users' background and tasks [»brooR3_1993]

Subtopic: programming help up

QuoteRef: coheS4_1974 ;;118 Speakeasy is a simple processor with extensive libraries and associated help documentation
Quote: EMACS provides an interactive self-documentation facility; needed because of many features [»stalRM6_1981]
Quote: DocumentExaminer includes entire Lisp manual [»conkJ9_1987]
Quote: DocumentExaminer used for 8000 pages in 10000 nodes and 23000 links; all forms of documentation

Related Topics up

Group: graphical user interface   (24 topics, 512 quotes)

Topic: computer as an intelligent agent (49 items)
Topic: disorientation in a user interface (13 items)
Topic: ease of learning (38 items)
Topic: ease of use (47 items)
Topic: error messages (37 items)
Topic: examples of hypertext systems (25 items)
Topic: monitored variable (28 items)
Topic: novice users and the UserInterface (25 items)
Topic: semistructured messages for automated processing (22 items)
Topic: software documentation
(64 items)

Updated barberCB 6/04
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